Highly recommend the Balvenie 17 Madeira Cask as a damn fine but easy to appreciate single malt. If you do not like this Single Malt there is no hope for you.
Notes: The Balvenie Distillery was established in 1892 and is owned by the same people who make Glenfiddich. Unlike most Scotch distilleries, it still has its own floor maltings.
The Highlands have a few different sub regions and styles- this one is considered a Speyside by location and style/profile. It is aged in Madeira Sherry Casks
This company has a range of malts 12,16,18, 21, 25 and 50 year-olds and a number of special bottlings which includes this and malts matured in other different woods. Not as well known as some of the industry heavyweights. Considered by most reviewers as a good to excellent whisky more affordable for the quality across its age range as it is somewhat lesser known.
Appearance: Fresh wheat straw color to it, quite attractive and promising, nice edge line on the glass when you swirl it, smooth layer of whiskey on swirling with long, symmetrical legs forming.
First Impression: Light-to-medium Peat smoke, honey, peaches, heather,cinnamon, malt, nuts, and some spice.
Taste: Light oily feel to the malt. Medium-weight mouth feel (for a scotch). Peat seems to settle on the edges and tip of the tongue, followed by Peat smoke, honey, malt, peaches, heather, cinnamon, malt, nuts, and some spice. Madeira cask influence comes through as a light understated touch with tobacco and pepper notes softened with some sweetness. Finish is dry, long, and nicely aromatic.
Drinks: I like it straight up myself , with maybe a splash of (nonchlorinated) water. It seems a pity not to enjoy on its own .
Cigars: Yes, but nothing too heavy – try a Cameroon Wrapper Joya de Nicaragua or Ashton.
Bottle: Come in a press board shipping canister with pamphlet. Attractive, if slightly dated looking label (fine with me). Clear glass classic shaped scotch bottle. Slightly bulbous neck design fits well in the hand for pouring. Slightly flared bottom to bottle is a decorative and functional touch. Dark purple black wrap with dark gold lettering. Real cork closure. Like the whisky, solid quite and understated.
Final Thoughts: Balvenie has always been been a lovely malt at a great price – this latest addition to their lineup is no exception. A very nice and approachable malt for almost anyone but with enough uniqueness to satisfy a single malt collector or enthusiast. Highly recommend to anyone as a solid, flavorful, dram.
Charming format with extensive information. Be prepared to spend some time digging through the information they posted, there is quite a lot and it is all worthwhile.Balvenie